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Transition guide for users of Classic
On 30th June 2017 our Classic interface was retired after many long years of honourable service.
To smooth your transition, this guide will show you how to retain some popular Classic behaviours, and highlight some new features you may find useful.
Classic features and where to find them
- A tour of the interface
- Un-threaded mail
- Message headers, plain-text font
- Custom "From" address
- Forward message as an attachment
- Permanently delete messages
- Select a set of messages
- After message action: go to
- Message views: raw message, full headers, text vs html
- Copy/Move messages between folders
- Automatically reformat text
- Insert note
Classic features making a comeback
Some great new features you may enjoy
Switching to our current interface will bring plenty of benefits that we hope you'll come to love.
Message list with reading pane
Enable the reading pane to view the selected message and the message list side by side. You can select the layout that you like best on the Settings → General Preferences screen. You can also choose to hide the sidebar to get more room for your content on smaller screens.
Enhanced security and privacy measures
Any images in a message that aren't attachments (i.e. they are direct image links to a remote server) are loaded by our servers on your behalf. This prevents the owner of the image from knowing your IP address (which can reveal your approximate location), or tracking you with cookies.
Our current interface is also more secure than Classic, with support for more two-step verification options, and more layers of protection against malicious email content.
The current interface makes use of advanced caching and preloading strategies to make opening and actioning messages even faster than before, often instant. Between keyboard shortcuts and the sheer speed of our interface, you could think you're on a native mail client.
Fast by name, fast by nature!
The technology behind the Classic interface couldn't support calendars.
Welcome to a whole new world! Send and receive event invitations and have your calendar automatically update.
Email is about communication, but a lot of the time communication is about meeting face to face. Connecting email and calendar together makes all your communication easier.
No need to refresh
New mail is pushed to your browser the moment it arrives without you needing to lift a finger.
You can even enable notifications if you'd like your browser to alert you in case you're in another tab or window.
Accidentally deleted a mail you need back? Accidentally moved some mail into the wrong folder?
With our support for undo, you can undo up to the last 10 actions by using the undo link, or Ctrl-Z.
Not all actions can be undone. Permanent deletions are irrevocable. Sending an email can't be reversed (yet! stay tuned!).
Classic features and where to find them
Many of the behaviours you loved in Classic are still available in the current interface, but are accessed in a slightly different way. Here's a quick guide on where to find them.
A tour of the current interface
This is a quick guide to key changes in how you navigate our current interface compared to Classic.
The Classic interface menu bar is now a dropdown menu
This leaves the top area free for action buttons for whatever you're viewing at the moment. More screen real estate is then available for your actual mail or calendar content.
- Click here in the top left:
- To get the menu:
Your whole inbox is at your fingertips
No more page-at-a-time list of mail.
- In Classic, there is a set of paging controls across the bottom.
- Now there's no paging, just the full list of email in your inbox. Simply scroll to access what you need. There's a counter in the bottom right to let you know your current position.
Search has moved out of the way
In Classic, the search box was at the top of the folder list in the sidebar. Search has now moved to the top right-hand side, leaving your list of folders uncluttered.
- New location.
- Click to open the Advanced Search controls.
- Use the Advanced Search screen right from your mailbox view.
The Classic "All folder" search included shared folders. The new interface does not yet support this: you'll need to search each user separately.
I want my mail un-threaded
The current interface joins related messages together into a conversation so you can follow the "thread" of messages between you and your correspondents easily.
If you'd prefer to view each message separately, you'll find
the setting on the Settings → Mail Preferences screen. In the Reading section, switch Conversations to
Show every message separately.
I want the Classic style of message headers and font
Inside Settings → General Preferences, in the Theme section, select Classic.
This will show the full headers when viewing emails instead of collapsing them (they can be shown in every theme by clicking Show details).
It will also use a fixed-width font when composing or viewing a plain text email. The rest of the interface will continue to use the font given by the UI font setting under the theme selector in the settings.
The Classic theme shows the size of each mail in a column on the right hand side. If you're not using the Classic theme, sorting by size reveals the size column.
How do I set a custom "From" address?
In the current interface, first create a wildcard identity, then select that wildcard identity when composing a new message to put your "From" address in an editable text box, allowing you to change it.
To create a wildcard identity, go to
Settings → Identities & Fetch. Click Add Identity/Fetch, then set the email address to
*@<domain>.<tld>. Setting a name is optional: you can change it when writing your mail.
(Your username is encrypted in the extended mail headers of your message, so abuse reports can be traced by FastMail staff, but it is not decipherable by anyone else.)
I want to forward a message as an attachment
When forwarding mail, if you'd like to include a copy of the original message as an attachment, instead of including its content inline, use the More button on the email to access extra actions.
The Forward as Attachment menu item is what you need.
How do I permanently delete messages?
The Classic interface has a menu option that lets you permanently delete a message while viewing it without first sending it to Trash.
While the current interface doesn't have a button or a menu option as it is a power-user feature, it is still available with our extensive keyboard shortcuts.
Use the % key (normally Shift+5) to delete the selected mail instantly, forever.
Alternatively, deleting mail that's already inside your Trash folder will permanently remove it.
Select a set of messages
The Classic interface lets you select a "page" of messages at a time. The current interface doesn't have a concept of pages, so clicking on the "select all" checkbox at the top of the message list will select all messages in the folder.
If you'd like to select a range, click the checkbox of the first message you want. Then, while holding down the Shift key, click the checkbox of the last message in the set. This will select all messages between your first and last messages.
After message action: go to
The Classic interface has a small menu allowing you to choose what happens after you've finished with the current message. You could go back or forwards in the message list, or return to a particular folder.
In the current interface, this is now simplified and controlled by a global preference under Settings → Mail Preferences. In the Reading section, the Navigation option lets you choose if you want to go to the next message, the previous message or return to the inbox after deleting or moving a message or conversation.
Message views: raw message, full header, text vs html
The Classic interface has links at the top of a message allowing you to show the raw message, see the full headers of a message, and switch between text and html view of a message.
- To view the raw message, use the More menu to select
Show Raw Message.
- To view full headers, either
- View the raw message, or
- Specify extra headers you always want displayed. This is set in Settings → Mail Preferences under Reading. Open the Advanced preferences and use Extra headers to add the fields you're interested in. Add each header separately. Now when you view a message, you can select Show details and the extra information will be there.
- To switch between text and html mode when viewing a message, the current interface uses a global preference setting. Under Settings → Mail Preferences go to the Reading section. Open the Advanced preferences, and use the View HTML setting to choose whether you only want to see plain text, or to view the formatted HTML version if it's available.
Copy/Move messages between folders
To move messages between folders, drag the message or conversation to the target folder in the side bar.
To copy messages between folders, hold down the Alt key while dragging
to the target folder. The cursor will have a small
+ icon added to it when
you're over the folder list, to show you're copying.
Automatically reformat text
The Classic interface had a "format" button which would reformat long lines, and flow numbered, bulleted and lettered lists with long lines, generating hanging indents.
This is preserved as a keyboard shortcut. Use Ctrl-M on a plain text email to automatically format the text. You can also select a few lines and format just those lines.
The Classic interface had an "insert note" button which would let you insert a Note into an email.
You can still insert a note by navigating to your Notes, opening up the one you want to share, copying the contents (either using the mouse or via keyboard shortcuts), then returning to your email and pasting the note in.
The Classic interface had an explicit button to trigger a spellcheck of your email content. All modern browsers (since 2012) have a spellchecker inbuilt and will automatically flag any unrecognised word; usually with a red underline. Right-clicking on an underlined word will bring up a menu of options to correct the word or add it to your dictionary.
For more information, see our spellcheck guide.
Some Classic features making a comeback
There are a few popular Classic features that are not as yet implemented in our current interface. They are not universal features — many major mail clients or mail servers do not include support for them and will ignore them on messages you send — but we have heard you tell us that they are still useful for the subset of your correspondents whose systems do support them.
After listening to your feedback, we will be adding them in the coming months, in advance of discontinuing classic:
- Setting mail priority - now live!
- Request read receipt - now live!
- Forward multiple messages as an attachment - now live!
- A "dark" theme - now live!
Why was Classic retired?
Maintaining two interfaces comes at a cost, and increases our surface area for security issues. As new features continue to be developed, it becomes increasingly harder to maintain backend compatibility with both Classic and our current interface. With the vast majority of users now migrated to our current interface, we need to focus our resources so we can continue to keep FastMail as the premier email service in the years to come.
Do I have to change my mail address?
No! You can keep your existing mail address with us.
We have only retired the Classic web user interface: all the underlying mail systems are untouched.
Your email address, existing mail and folders all stay exactly as they are now.
Let us know how you're finding the transition, or if you have any further queries or suggestions, at email@example.com. We read everything sent to us but we can't guarantee we will be able to reply to everyone.
We'll continue to add more tips to this page in the coming months.